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Rogue Ohio Bar Barbell Review (2022 Update)

If you’re in the market for a new barbell to add to your home gym, the Rogue Ohio Barbell can offer the versatility needed to perform traditional barbell exercises, as well as any Olympic or CrossFit lift. The non-abrasive grip enables you to perform high rep movements without tearing up your hands, and the bronze bushings allow the sleeves to spin in order to perform power cleans.

When you choose a barbell to add to your home gym, you’ll want one that can last a long time, and handle the stress that often comes with lifting weights. The Ohio Barbell checks both of those boxes. It’s made of a durable stainless steel (with varying finishes), and is compatible with any squat rack or power rack you may already own. If you’re an avid CrossFitter, training for Olympic lifts, or simply need a barbell you can squat and bench press with, the Rogue Ohio Barbell may be a good option for you.

Main Takeaways

  • The Ohio comes in a stainless steel option, which has the highest resistance to rust and corrosion.
  • The lack of center knurling makes this a good choice for Olympic lifts where the bar is rubbing against the skin. Center knurling can cause irritation after repeated use during these lifts.
  • A tensile strength of 200,000 pounds means this bar can withstand even the heaviest of weight without bending or breaking.


Rogue Ohio Bar Barbell


The Rogue Ohio Bar is 28mm in diameter, has a sleeve length of 16.4 inches, and features two knurling marks for optimal hand placement. It’s made of stainless steel, and comes with a lifetime warranty.


Rogue Ohio Barbell Highlights

The Rogue Ohio Barbell can accommodate deadlifts, power cleans, back squats, bench press, and pretty much any other exercise you may want to tackle with a barbell in hand. It’s worth noting that when purchasing your barbell, you have the option for it to be stainless steel, coated in black oxide, black zinc, or cerakote, as well as an e-coat (electronic coated), and an option that allows you to fully customize everything about your bar. 

One thing Olympic lifters and CrossFitters will love about this bar is that it does not include a center knurling. This is ideal for not only power cleans, but also overhead presses as your skin won’t get irritated from the grip. The lack of a center knurling may also lead to less of a grip when performing back squats. The knurling on this bar is on the moderate side, which is great for high rep workouts, as it may not tear up your hands. The sleeves on the Rogue Ohio are specific to which bar you choose, and have a grooved pattern. Grooved patterns are meant to keep the weight plates or bumper plates in place while you are lifting. You may also notice there is a “zip” noise when loading and unloading weight plates (as they slide across the sleeve) that could irritate some. 

Who Should Buy the Rogue Ohio Barbell

  • Anyone looking for a multi-purpose barbell that can handle powerlifting, as well as Olympic and CrossFit lifts.
  • Customers who want a high quality barbell that comes either in stainless steel, or a coating of their choice.
  • Athletes who want a barbell with a high tensile strength — the Rogue Ohio is rated at 200,000 pounds.

Who Shouldn’t Buy the Rogue Ohio Barbell

  • Athletes who want a barbell with a more aggressive knurling for a better grip while powerlifting.
  • Anyone who doesn’t want grooved sleeves on their barbell, and may be irritated by the extra noise here. 
  • Customers looking for sleeves that spin freely. While the sleeves on this bar do spin, they don’t spin as freely as some competitor barbells. 

Price

As we mentioned, the Rogue Ohio barbell comes in a stainless steel option which is the highest quality material you’ll find in barbell construction. Priced at $370, it’s a bit more expensive than some other barbells that aren’t made from stainless steel, but you’re paying for the high quality of the product here — which could make this the last barbell you ever buy. While the chrome sleeves come standard with the stainless steel Ohio, you have the option for plain stainless steel, as well. This is an additional $95, bringing your product total to $465, and after shipping, you’re looking at $535. Rogue does allow you to utilize PayLater from PayPal, splitting your purchase up into four interest-free payments of $133.75. 

The Ohio comes in a variety of coatings and finishes, so it’s worth noting that they all feature a different price. The black zinc coated bar, and the e-coat bar will cost you $305, while the black oxide bar is $320, and the custom bar is $350. Since the prices are relatively similar, the best value is probably the stainless steel, as it will most likely last you the longest thanks to its rust resistance.

Overall Build and Quality

The Rogue Ohio Barbell is a multi-purpose barbell crafted with high quality steel, and features bronze bushings to enable the sleeves to spin at will. This is a 20 kilogram bar that is 86.5 inches long, has a diameter of 28.5 millimeters, and sleeves that are 16.4 inches. It’s rated at 1,260 pounds and has a tensile strength of 200,000 pounds. These are good numbers for elite level strength athletes who may be concerned about the punishment their bars endure.

Features

With the stainless steel bar (fully stainless steel if you opt in for the stainless steel sleeves, instead of the chrome ones), you will have better luck fighting off rust than you would with the e-coat, black oxide, black zinc and cerakote options. The others offer protection, but stainless steel is superior. The grip is an exclusive Rogue volcano pattern that is 100 percent original, and offers a firm grip that is not overly aggressive.

Knurling

This barbell features double knurl marks for your workouts, which is fairly common when it comes to this piece of equipment. Double knurl marks allow you to accurately measure the widest grip possible for both powerlifting and Olympic lifting movements. The overall knurling is firm, but it shouldn’t tear up your hands on high rep movements, and features a volcano grip in a Rogue exclusive pattern. 

It’s worth noting that the Ohio does not have a center knurl. This may not be ideal for those who focus on back squats, and are wanting the extra grip that a center knurl can provide. If you are one of those people, you may want to look for an option that does feature a center knurl. However, if you are an athlete who focuses heavily on Olympic and CrossFit lifts, this is a viable option for you — the lack of a center knurl should lead to less irritation on your skin.

Sleeve Design

Sleeve design often varies from barbell to barbell — some may be smooth while others have grooves in them. The Ohio features grooves in both sleeves, which is meant to prevent the weight plates from sliding as much as they might on a smooth surface. This will cause a “zip” as you are loading and unloading your weight though, which some may not like. 

The bronze bushings here will provide a smooth spin while lifting, but in our time with the stainless steel bar, we noticed the sleeves didn’t spin as freely as some of Rogue’s competitors (this may only be the case in our individual bar). Bronze bushings are a cost effective option as opposed to bearings, and they also will degrade at a slower rate.

Finish

Your sleeve finish will depend on which bar you decide to go with. If you opt for the stainless steel version, you can choose either chrome or plain stainless steel sleeves — this really boils down to personal preference, and whether or not you want extra protection from rust. Stainless steel is the holy grail when it comes to fighting off rust and corrosion.

The black zinc and e-coat options both feature a black zinc finish on the sleeves, and the black oxide bar also has black oxide sleeves. The custom bar comes in either a colored cerakote or stainless steel finish with the choice of cerakote or chrome sleeves. 

Product Specs

The Rogue Ohio Barbell is a viable option if you are an athlete who is looking to expand your barbell workouts. The 200,000 pound tensile strength rating is going to be satisfactory for the majority of athletes — the highest a bar may be rated is 230,000 pounds, so it may actually work for everyone. This will allow you to really load on the weight as this bar is able to hold 1,260 pounds. The dimensions of this bar are comparable to an Olympic barbell, and the stainless steel will keep this bar in your hands for a very long time. Plus, it has a 28.5 millimeter diameter that is pretty common among barbells.

Tensile Strength 

The tensile strength on a barbell is a very important feature — this is essentially how strong the bar is, and how much weight it can hold before it begins to bend, break, or fracture. Since this bar is rated at 200,000 pounds, it’s on the higher end of the tensile strength spectrum — barbells can range anywhere from 120,000 to 230,000 pounds of tensile strength. The higher the strength, the higher the durability, so this is a strong bar that can accommodate most weightlifters and even elite powerlifters.

Materials

Since this barbell comes in a few different options, there are different materials used to craft each. For the stainless steel bar, you can choose between chrome or stainless steel sleeves. The e-coat bar will feature bright zinc sleeves, as does the black zinc bar. The black oxide bar comes with black oxide sleeves, and the custom option is a cerakote coated bar with the choice of cerakote or chrome sleeves.

All of these bars feature bronze bushings for the sleeves, except the custom bar as you have the choice to choose between bronze bushings or composite bushings that are painted either red or black. Composite bushings are cheaper to make, but also require more oil to stay lubricated unlike bronze bushings. Stainless steel is likely the best option when it comes to fighting off rust and may lead to a better grip than a coated option.

Weight Capacity

The Ohio will support up to 1,260 pounds of loaded weight, putting it right up there in the realm of Olympic barbells — though some competition barbells may reach up to 1,500 pounds. This is a solid weight capacity for the majority of weight lifters, and may even satisfy the needs of more elite level lifters.

Dimensions and Weight

The majority of barbells are fairly similar when it comes to length, weight, and diameter. The Rogue Ohio Barbell weighs 20 kilograms, is 7.2 feet long (which is what you would find with an Olympic barbell), and has a diameter of 28.5 millimeters.

Warranties

Thanks to the confidence that Rogue has in their product, they offer a lifetime warranty on this barbell, no matter if you choose the fully stainless steel option, or one of the coated options. 

Places to Buy

You can purchase this barbell through Rogue, or Amazon marketplace.

Company Information

Founded in a garage in 2006, Rogue Fitness has grown into one of the leaders in manufacturing fitness equipment. They are the official supplier of equipment for the CrossFit Games and USA Weightlifting, among other competitions. They remain dedicated to producing high quality equipment for athletes of all shapes and sizes. To find out more about Rogue Fitness, you can reach out to them via their support number at 614-358-6190, or you can live chat with a customer support representative on their website. 

Final Word

The Rogue Ohio Barbell is a multi-purpose bar that is able to accommodate a variety of workouts at the majority of strength levels. The steel this bar was crafted with should allow it to hold up for a lifetime of use. The knurling featured here is a Rogue specific pattern, and offers a firm grip for when your hands begin to sweat, but won’t tear them up as you work. 

If you are an athlete who specializes in CrossFit or Olympic lifts, you will love the lack of a center knurling on this bar, as it won’t be as rough on your skin. On the other hand, if you are looking to use this bar for more traditional lifts such as back squats, you may want to find an option that does have that center knurl for the extra grip it provides. No matter the workout, the intensity, or the weight, the Rogue Ohio Barbell is built to last. Though the Rogue Ohio Bar may be more expensive than some competition, we think the high quality, steel build here makes this purchase worth every penny. 

FAQs

Why would I opt for the stainless steel Rogue Ohio barbell instead of one coated in zinc or cerakote?

Stainless steel is the highest quality material available for a barbell, offering a high strength level, while also fighting off rust and corrosion better than any coated option.

Why does the Rogue Ohio Barbell not feature a center knurling?

Since this is a multi-purpose barbell that is built to handle CrossFit and Olympic lifts in addition to your traditional lifts, Rogue decided to opt out of the center knurling. This will allow athletes to perform those movements in which the bar rubs against your skin without tearing it up in the process.

What does the tensile strength of the Rogue Ohio barbell mean?

Tensile strength is essentially how much weight a barbell can handle before it begins to bend or break. The higher the tensile strength, the more weight it can hold. The Rogue Ohio Barbell has a tensile strength of 200,000 pounds, meaning this bar can handle the loaded weight for athletes at almost every level.

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